Tuberville, Colleagues Travel to Southeast Asia to Support the U.S. Military’s Largest Combatant Command

Met with Officials in the Philippines, Taiwan, and India to Strengthen Ties with Critical Allies and Partners to Counter Chinese Aggression

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) visited with key allies and partners in Southeast Asia as part of a congressional delegation (CODEL) with U.S. Senators John Cornyn (R-TX), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Mike Lee (R-UT), and U.S. Representatives Tony Gonzales (TX-23) and Jake Ellzey (TX-6). The trip, which included stops in the Philippines, Taiwan, and India, reinforced the Indo-Pacific Command (USINDOPACOM)’s mission to further the development of security cooperation in the region and strengthen bilateral ties with key allies. After arriving back on U.S soil, Senator Tuberville stated:

“The Indo-Pacific region is critically important to the economic and national security of the United States. Our strategic partners in the Indo-Pacific are thriving despite the daily threat of aggression from the Chinese Communist Party, which seeks economic and military dominance in the region and beyond. Understanding the challenges our friends face is critical to providing support to our allies and to protecting our own national security interests. This trip was an opportunity to hear directly from INDOPACOM military leaders and to further strengthen our bonds with nations that share our values and understand the strategic investments that must be made to ensure peace through strength. I’m incredibly proud of what our soldiers, sailors, Airmen, and Marines do every day in the Pacific to stabilize the region so that trade can flow and freedom can spread.”

The delegation began their travels by meeting with top USINDOPACOM military officials, the oldest and largest combatant command. After receiving a broad situational overview, the officials conveyed priorities for all branches of the military in the region, which spans from Pearl Harbor, Hawaii to the western border of India.

The delegation on the USS John Paul Jones with Commanding Officer Robert Watts.

In the Philippines, the delegation met with Secretary of Foreign Affairs Teodoro Locsin, Jr. and received an update on efforts to counter China’s influence in the region. Later, the members saw firsthand Chinese maritime military activity in the disputed South China Sea. 

The delegation, Chargé d’Affaires Heather Variava, and the aircrew of a Philippines-based U.S. Navy P-8 before an overflight of the South China Sea.

To learn how the U.S. can best support Taiwan’s development of domestic asymmetric defense capabilities and discuss trade relations, the delegation met with President Tsai Ing-we, along with defense and foreign affairs leadership in Taipei. They also visited the world’s largest semiconductor foundry to tour a fabrication facility and receive a briefing about China’s efforts to threaten Taiwanese chipmaking and destabilize this critical supply chain.

The delegation meets with President Tsai and members of Taiwan’s Ministries of Foreign Affairs and National Defense.

After landing in India, the group met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and cabinet officials in New Delhi. They discussed support for Quad countries, important trade priorities, and priorities for the Senate India Caucus. This visit marked the delegation’s travel from one end of the USINDOPACOM Theater to the other.

Members of the delegation discussed issues important to the U.S. and India with Prime Minister Modi.

The delegation meets with Chargé D’Affaires Patricia Lacina at the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi.

Lastly, the delegation had an audience with the representative of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, who spoke with the group about shared values for religious freedom and human rights, and China’s repression and persecution of Tibetans. 

The delegation talks with the representative of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama.

The delegation thanks the U.S. military overseas in USINDOPACOM, the staff of U.S. embassies in the region, and the leaders and dignitaries of their host countries and partners for their hospitality and service. 

Senator Tommy Tuberville represents Alabama in the United States Senate and is a member of the Senate Armed Services, Agriculture, Veterans’ Affairs, and HELP Committees.